By: Erin Madden
BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University football team defeated Capital University 37-7 in an Ohio Athletic Conference, Community and Family Day and Homecoming game on the Tressel Field inside The George Finnie Stadium.
BW (4-1, 3-1 OAC) improved to 39-12 in the all-time series against Capital (0-4, 0-3 OAC), including winning the last three games and seven of the last nine.
Freshman quarterback Keagan Armitage (Ashland) was named the Frank Ropollo Offensive Player of the Game and senior defensive lineman Sekou Imani (Dover) was named the Dick Miller Defensive Player of the Game.
Offensively for the Yellow Jackets, Armitage completed 19-of-31 passes for 310 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Freshman running back Shaun Perry (Clearwater, Fla.) led the ground game as he rushed for 91 yards on 13 carries with one touchdown. Senior wide out Darion Greer (Toledo/Central Catholic) led the aerial assault as he caught seven passes for 102 yards with one touchdown. Defensively, senior All-OAC defensive back Jordyn Johnson (Akron/North) had a game-high 11 tackles and two pass breakups. Imani had five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries in addition to a blocked kick and a fumble return for a touchdown.
The Crusaders were led by junior quarterback Mitchell Machock as he completed 22-of-50 passes for 232 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Senior running back Evin Butler led the rushing attack with 17 yards on 10 carries. Sophomore tight end Kameron Lee led the receiving corps as he caught six passes for 75 yards with one touchdown. Defensively, senior linebacker Kole Carter had a team-high nine tackles, including a pair of tackles for loss, forced fumbles and quarterback hurries each.
Despite two lost fumbles in the period, the Yellow Jacket offense dominated the first quarter, scoring all 16 points. BW struck first with 7:41 on the clock when a reverse pass back to Armitage found senior Academic All-OAC wide receiver Schnyder Boucard (Grayson, Ga.) 13 yards for the touchdown, Boucard's first collegiate score. Freshman kicker Dean Sarris (Canton/GlenOak) added the point after. An interception from freshman defensive back Andrew Parker (Toledo/Central Catholic), the first of his career, had the Yellow Jackets primed for another touchdown before the second lost fumble. The next score came on the defensive side as Imani got into the Crusader backfield for a safety and a 9-0 lead at the 3:45 mark. BW capped off the ensuing possession with Armitage and senior wide out Deion Greer (Toledo/Central Catholic) connecting for a 21-yard touchdown reception and a Sarris extra point to go up 16-0 with 2:51 left in the period.
Offense sputtered in the second quarter as neither team was able to find the end zone. Capital had a chance at its first points of the afternoon with 1:33 remaining when Blake Middleton lined up for 35-yard field goal attempt; however, Imani got his hands on the ball for his first career blocked kick. Senior defensive back Jack Bauer (Uniontown/Green) made the recovery and BW cruised into halftime with a 16-0 lead.
The Crusaders were moving the ball well on their opening possession of the second half before senior Academic All-OAC linebacker Josh Liberati (Lisbon/David Anderson) stepped in front of Machock's pass for the senior's first career interception. Following the turnover, Perry pounded the ball in for a 3-yard touchdown run with 8:13 on the clock, marking the game's first score since 2:51 point in the first quarter. Sarris then chipped in his third extra point of the afternoon. Capital finally got on the scoreboard with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter as Machock found Lee for a 17-yard touchdown catch. Middleton added the extra point for a 23-7 score. The Crusaders got the ball back after forcing a three-and-out and quickly moved down the field in anticipation of their second score. However, a late turnover on downs in Yellow Jacket territory put a halt to Capital's drive and ended the third quarter.
Just 48 seconds into the final period, Darion Greer snagged a 28-yard touchdown reception from Armitage, which Sarris finished off with the extra point. Most of the fourth quarter passed uneventfully until Liberati forced a Crusader fumble in BW territory, which Imani scooped up and ran back 65 yards for the defensive score with 2:51 left on the clock. Sarris capped off the afternoon's scoring with his fifth extra point of the game.
BW is idle next week as it will have its bye week. The Yellow Jackets are back in action on Saturday, October 19, when they travel to New Concord for an OAC game against Muskingum University inside McConagha Stadium at 2 p.m.